Raddysh’s Career Year, College Prospects Honored, NHL Games in Australia? and Other Blackhawks Bullets
Alex Stalock did everything he could to get the Blackhawks a win last night. And, despite getting outplayed in the first period, the Blackhawks had a 2-0 lead early (just as was the case against Ottawa). Unfortunately for Stalock, this game went the opposite direction of the Sens win. Things got worse as the game progressed, and that 2-0 lead finished in a 4-3 loss. And head coach Luke Richardson was as unhappy during and after the game as we’ve seen this season.
- Taylor Raddysh must have felt like it had been a year since he last scored a goal. In reality, he hadn’t scored since before the All-Star Game; his last goal came in Edmonton on Jan. 28 before last night’s two-goal performance. But even with that six-week drought in the books, Raddysh now has a career-best 16 goals this season. The 25-year-old forward, who was acquired from Tampa in the Brandon Hagel trade, has one more season left on his contract that carries a seemingly silly $758,333 cap hit, making him one of the best values in the entire NHL. Hagel has been a really nice player for Tampa, but the Blackhawks getting Raddysh, Boris Katchouk and two first-round picks from the Bolts appears to have the makings of a legit win-win deal.
- Where will the Blackhawks’ first-round pick fall in 2023? Right now, Chicago has the second-best odds of winning the top pick in the 2023 NHL Draft Lottery.
- Someone somewhere outside Chicago has noticed what I’ve been saying for a while now. The Blackhawks combination of a boatload of draft capital and cap space could accelerate the rebuild. Steven Ellis at Daily Faceoff wrote about the Blackhawks’ new upward mobility on Wednesday and, like me, projects they’re on an fascinating path back to being relevant. In fact, he says he’d be willing to bet the Blackhawks move some of their picks for “actual hockey players” at some point.
Chicago, I don’t envision these dark days will last for long. The rest of the season is going to be brutal. Next year likely won’t be much better. But Blackhawks GM Kyle Davidson has positioned the team to gain as many assets as possible quickly. No matter the direction he goes, that’s exciting.
- Boston University is the No. 1 seed in the Hockey East tournament after winning the regular season crown. They’ll host a conference quarterfinal game on Saturday afternoon with two skaters having been named to the Hockey East All-Rookie Team. Lane Hutson (who’s from North Barrington) and Blackhawks prospect Ryan Greene were named to the squad on Wednesday.
- Also named to the Hockey East All-Rookie team: Boston College forward Cutter Gauthier, UConn forward Matthew Wood, Northeastern defenseman Hunter McDonald, UMass forward Kenny Connors and Northeastern forward Cam Lund. Gauthier, Wood and Hutson were unanimous selections. Wood is a 2023 draft-eligible player to keep in mind in a few months as well.
- Minnesota-Duluth defenseman and Blackhawks prospect Wyatt Kaiser was named Second Team All-NCHC on Wednesday. Kaiser, who won’t turn 21 until July 31, finished his junior season with 19 points in 32 games for the Bulldogs. I am one of the many who expect the Blackhawks to make a strong push to sign Kaiser when his postseason ends.
- On Wednesday the Blackhawks placed forward Pavel Gogolev on unconditional waivers. Gogolev, 23, has one goal in two games with the IceHogs since he was acquired as part of the trade sending Jake McCabe and Sam Lafferty to Toronto.
- We’ve seen NHL hockey played outdoors in Los Angeles and Lake Tahoe, in football and baseball stadiums and on college campuses in front of more than 100,000 fans. But… hockey in… Australia? On a tennis court? It looks like that might be happening in the preseason this fall.
- This was a fun one from last night. Blackhawks fans might remember Fred Brathwaite from his two seasons in St. Louis back from 2001-03 (he appeared in 55 games). Well… at 50, he apparently got the Scott Foster treatment and then some in the AHL last night. With Vegas facing some really tough injury issues in net, Brathwaite signed a PTO to back-up.
- A tweet from Ian Kennedy of The Hockey News, and subsequent quote from Frank Seravalli, caught my eye yesterday. This is awesome! As a member of the PHWA, this is a tremendous step forward in support of women’s hockey (and overdue in my opinion) and I’m proud that I’m part of a group that’s taking this step. And to make this announcement on International Women’s Day was a nice move. We’re very fortunate to have some exceptional women working with, for and around and covering the Chicago Blackhawks.
- Finally, this sucks for the Bulls and their fans. Unfortunately, that’s been the case for most of this season — and Ball’s injury has been the cause of a lot of that frustration.